SINePost newsletter - November 2015
In this issue ...
- Road Casualty Review
- Estimating Population estimates in the future
- Working and Workless Households
- Child Poverty
- Living Wage Jobs
- Small Area Income and Housing Affordability estimates
- Digital Inclusion
- Sexual Identity estimates
- Civil Partnerships Statistics
- Fly-tipping Statistics
- What's New on the Somerset Intelligence website?
- Forthcoming Statistical Releases
1. Road Casualty Review
The number of casualties on Somerset’s roads increased by 1% in 2014 compared to the previous year according to the latest annual Somerset Road Casualty Review. There were a total of 1,623 casualties during 2014, of which 33 were fatal, 185 serious and 1,405 ‘slight’. Somerset Road Safety met all five of its defined casualty targets in 2014.
Summary findings include:
- The 33 fatal casualties in 2014 represent an increase of 14% (5 casualties) on the 2013 figure.
- There were 1,078 car user casualties in 2014, an increase of almost 4% when compared with the previous year.
- The number of pedestrians injured in road traffic collisions fell by 9% in 2014 compared to 2013 (16 casualties).
- Pedal cyclist casualties decreased by 8% (13 casualties).
- Motorcyclist casualties decreased by 2% (3 casualties).
The full report, which includes statistics and analysis by road user type, user age and road class, is available at: www.somersetroadsafety.org/userfiles/downloads/122/Casualty%20Review%202014.pdf
2. Estimating Population estimates in the future
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is conducting research to assess whether administrative data can be used to produce population and census statistics in the future. As part of this work, ONS has published a research update including local and national population estimates using administrative datasets from GPs, the DWP and Higher Education.
This methodology has produced a total population estimate for Somerset within just 0.25% of the official 2014 mid-year estimate (MYE). However, there are notable variations by age and gender. The ONS will continue to develop the methodology and work to improve data quality and in Spring 2016 will publish a first detailed assessment of progress towards producing population statistics from administrative data after 2021.
For more information, see http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/guide-method/census/2021-census/progress-and-development/research-projects/beyond-2011-research-and-design/research-outputs/index.html
3. Working and Workless Households
The number of workless households in Somerset continues to decline according to latest figures from the Annual Population Survey (APS): www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/lmac/workless-households-for-regions-across-the-uk/2014/index.html
An estimated 11.0% of Somerset households were workless in 2014, down from 14.9% in 2013, and down from a recent peak of 19.0% in 2010 at the height of the economic recession. A workless household is defined as one which includes at least one person aged 16-64 and where no-one aged 16 or over is in work.
Somerset is currently well below national (15.8%) and regional (13.8%) averages in terms of workless households, and has the third lowest rate in the South West region (after South Gloucestershire and Wiltshire).
The APS also assesses reasons for not working; data is not published at local authority level but for the South West region, sickness or disability (25%) and early retirement (25%) are the most common factors, followed by unemployment (15%).
4. Child Poverty
An estimated 13,085 children in Somerset (aged under 16) are considered to be living in poverty according to latest figures from HM Revenue & Customs. This equates 14.1% of all children, or 1 in 7 of the child population.
The Children in Low-Income Families Local Measure considers the proportion of children living in families either in receipt of out-of-work benefits or in receipt of tax credits with a reported income which is less than 60% of national median income. It presents a broad proxy for the relative low-income measure as used in the Child Poverty Act 2010. The latest dataset is a snapshot as of 31st August 2013 (the time lag being due to reconciling of tax credit figures): www.gov.uk/government/statistics/personal-tax-credits-children-in-low-income-families-local-measure-2013-snapshot-as-at-31-august-2013
At a local level, Taunton Halcon ward sees the highest levels of child poverty in Somerset (30.6%), followed by five wards within Sedgemoor: Bridgwater Hamp (29.4%), Bridgwater Dunwear (28.8%), Highbridge and Burnham Marine (25.2%), Bridgwater Fairfax (25.0%) and Bridgwater Westover (24.6%).
5. Living Wage Jobs
West Somerset district has the highest proportion of employee jobs paid less than the Living Wage (41.9%) of any local authority area in Great Britain according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.
Within Somerset, Sedgemoor district sees the next highest proportion (33.2%), followed by Mendip (32.3%), Taunton Deane (23.1%) and South Somerset (22.2%). The national average (excluding London) is 23%, with a London figure of 19%.
In total, 56,000 employee jobs in Somerset are estimated to be paid less than the Living Wage.
6. Small Area Income and Housing Affordability estimates
Average net weekly household income in Somerset ranges from £403 in the Hamp area of Bridgwater to £657 in the Wedmore area (of Sedgemoor) according to official small area (MSOA) model-based estimates from the ONS: www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/ness/small-area-model-based-income-estimates/2011-12/index.html
The ONS has also combined household income estimates with previously published median house price data to consider local housing affordability. In England and Wales in 2014, the average MSOA had a median house price equal to 380 times net weekly household income.
Within Somerset, the Wedmore area appears to be the least affordable place to live (with a ratio of house price to weekly income of 544) and the Sydenham area of Bridgwater the most affordable (a ratio of 273). See: www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/ness/small-area-model-based-income-estimates/2011-12/stb-small-area-model-based.html#tab-6--Small-Area-Income-Estimates--A-Housing-Perspective
7. Digital Inclusion
Around one in four adults in Somerset lack basic digital skills according to data from the charity Go ON UK, in association with the Local Government Association. The analysis is based around five established skills (communicating, transacting, problem-solving, creating, and managing information): www.go-on.co.uk/resources/heatmap/
Moreover, of the three-quarters of Somerset adults who are competent in the five basic digital skills, only around half have used them all in the last three months.
Of Somerset’s districts, West Somerset is considered to have the highest risk of overall digital exclusion, although all districts are classified as ‘medium’ risk in comparison to the national picture.
8. Sexual Identity estimates
Results from the 2014 Integrated Household Survey (IHS) indicate that 1.6% of UK adults identify themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual (LGB), with the proportion highest in the 16-24 age group (2.6%). The IHS is the largest social survey conducted by ONS after the national census, with 325,000 respondents: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/integrated-household-survey/integrated-household-survey/january-to-december-2014/index.html
If national proportions were applied to Somerset’s population demographic this would equate to around 6,400 lesbian, gay or bisexual adults in the county.
It is generally accepted that the IHS underestimates the true size of the lesbian, gay or bisexual population. Several historical surveys, both in the UK and overseas, have variously put the size of the LGB population at between 5% and 7%.
9. Civil Partnership Statistics
Following the introduction of marriages of same sex couples in March 2014, the number of civil partnerships formed in Somerset has fallen by around three-quarters, from 54 in 2013 to 13 in 2014.
Between 2006 and 2014 a total of 420 civil partnerships were formed in Somerset. The county has been broadly in line with the national average in terms of rates of civil partnership formation per head of population. Rates have tended to be higher in larger urban areas (such as Bristol and Bournemouth in the South West), particularly in respect of male partnerships.
10. Fly-tipping Statistics
After two successive years of falls, the number of fly-tipping incidents in Somerset increased in 2014/15, according to national figures published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra): www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/env24-fly-tipping-incidents-and-actions-taken-in-england
There were 5,241 fly-tipping incidents recorded in 2014/15, up from 4,959 the previous year. Increases were seen in Mendip, Taunton Deane and West Somerset districts, while numbers of incidents fell in Sedgemoor and South Somerset. Overall, around 7 out of 10 incidents relate to fly-tipping on highways.
11. What’s New on the Somerset Intelligence website?
The following content has been updated in the last month:
12. Forthcoming Statistical Releases
The following are due for release at sub-regional geographies during November:
- Small Area Population Estimates: mid-2014 and mid-2013 (ONS)
- Life Expectancy at birth and age 65 by local areas in England and Wales: 2012 to 2014 (ONS)
- Excess Winter Deaths: Aug 2013 to July 2014 (ONS)
- Business Demography 2014 (ONS)
- Health Profiles: November 2015 data update (PHE)
- Benefit Cap: Number of households capped to August 2015 (DWP)
And finally ...
- If you have any news or articles you’d like to share
- If any of the links in this newsletter don’t work
- If you would like to unsubscribe from the SINePost email alert
Please email TXAtkins@somerset.gov.uk